Saying "no" is hard. It's especially hard when you know someone wants
something so badly they can taste it, when they've prepared for years
and feel that hope deep in their bones that this might be the place.
This is a challenge of the call process that I hadn't really
appreciated. I already knew from having hired employees that turning
down prospects was both necessary and uncomfortable, especially when
there were multiple well-qualified applicants for a single opening, but
there's something about the call process that makes it different.
Perhaps it's the amount of filtering that has already happened before we
see a prospect's name. Perhaps it's how much they've invested in
learning about our congregation before they even talk to us. Perhaps
it's the possibility that this call would occupy them for the rest of
their earthly life. But there's no "perhaps" about the feeling it
leaves in my gut, a sort of über-FOMO despite my intellectual
appreciation that we can say "yes" to at most one.
At this time, we're at about page 28 (of 109) of the "Sierra Pacific
Synod, ELCA Transition and Call Process Manual for Congregations in
Transition." We conducted video interviews and met to discuss them in
depth. After much thought, discussion, and prayer, we released those we
couldn't envision at CGS from consideration so they might pursue other
possibilities. We met on October 2nd to identify the topics we want to
give priority in face-to-face interviews scheduled with the remaining
candidates. We've been contacting references. By October 16th, we will
have conducted the interviews, and will then meet to digest what we have
learned and decide how we want to proceed from there.
We ask for prayer:
- that those we have released find calls well-suited to their most
- for the remaining candidates as they discern whether CGS would be
right for them;
- and for the Call Committee, that we might hear the Holy Spirit's
Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.